Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beautiful Bedroom...Finally

September 13, 2010.

That is the last time I wrote a post on here. Holy cow. Again, my apologies for being a blogging slacker. I know, I know. I'm terrible.

 To be completely honest, I haven't been doing a whole lot of decorating lately, so there hasn't been much to post. I have decided to jump on the workout and eat healthy wagon. You know how people say "If only I could have my high school metabolism back?" Yeah, definitely not me. Never once have I said that. I have never had a "high school metabolism" - thank you Reece family. In fact, I weight less now than I did in high school. I finally started to figure out a few years back that healthy didn't mean just not super sizing my drive through order. So here I am as a 24 year old learning how to be healthy and jumping on the workout wagon. This isn't the first time I've jumped on this wagon. In fact, at the beginning of the year, I was working out 6 days a week doing Farrell's Extreme Body Shaping. The problem was, I wasn't watching what I ate because I figured by working out 6 days a week, I could eat whatever I wanted to. Wrong. So now I am focusing on the diet as well as the gym. I must say, it's been pretty great too. I used to despise the gym, but now, I can spend 2 hours there and not even realize that that amount of time has gone by. I'm hoping by developing this habit now, it will stick through the winter when it's cold and dreary outside and there's nothing better to do. But I digress. You aren't really here to read about my healthy life plan. You're here to see some decorating. So I present to bedroom.

That's right. I FINALLY did something to my bedroom. Remember back here when I was begging for some color inspiration for my bedroom. Well, it ended up as a light brown. Not at all what I was envisioning, but this was my second can of paint that I bought for this room, and I was tired of trying to find the "perfect" color. And when I took it back to Lowe's to have them lighten it up, Miss Sassy Pants Paint Mixer told me that she couldn't lighten it like I wanted because my can didn't have enough room to hold all of the paint. And if anyone knows me, they know these two things about me: I hate being sassed, and I am one of the most impatient people you will ever meet. So I gave her a very fake grin, thanked her for nothing, and went home and painted with my darker than I wanted paint. I must say though, I do like how it turned out. So take that Miss Sassy Pants Paint Mixer. I like it. Ha! It's just not at all how I had envisioned it. But that's ok, because it's done :).

So I painted my room a light brown, rearranged all my furniture, and decided it was time to get something up on the wall. When I saw this post over at Impatiently Praying for Patience, I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do. So I started hunting frames down at thrift stores, and this is what I came up with.

SO easy, and I think it makes such a statement. Plus, it was incredibly cheap. I bought every frame at a thrift store and didn't pay over $1.99 for any of them. Most were $.99, and my bottle of craft paint was also $.99. Definitely an under $20 project, and if I had to guess, I would say it cost me $12 - $13. Hello gorgeous, cheap decor. LOVE it! 

To give a quick explanation of how I did this (although I don't really think it's necessary), I ended up taking all of the backs, pictures, mirrors, etc. out of the frames so it I was left with what you see above. I then sprayed them all with Kilz primer and painted them with a bottle of craft paint that matched my bedding. The trickiest part was arranging them how I thought they would look best. I did this on the floor by my bed and then just hung one at a time so I wouldn't forget how they were placed. Here is a better view of my bedroom with them hanging up. 

I am so thrilled with how it turned out. I am continuing to work on some decor for my bedroom, and will post them as soon as I finish them (or at least in a timely matter - let's be real - I'm not exactly Johnny on the spot when it comes to blogging right away).

Monday, September 13, 2010

"You're seriously going to spray paint your pillows??"

That's the question my oh so understanding boyfriend asked me last night as I was plugging away on my latest project. And that's exactly what I did. I spray painted some throw pillow covers. Have I mentioned lately how much I love spray paint? It's seriously a small love affair. I was a little hesitant when spray paint and fabric were involved, but if I do say so myself, they turned out AWESOME! Here they are in all their glory.

I got this idea over at V and Co. where she gives a tutorial here. I am going to go ahead and give you my version of the process (although it was almost exactly like V and Co's). There were a few things I would have done differently, so this is the story of the lovely painted pillows...

You will need:

Freezer Paper
Spray Paint
Sewing machine or some mad hand sewing skills
Like colored thread
Pillow insert

I first started off with some muslin (you can get it at any fabric store - I got mine at JoAnn's Fabrics for $2.99/yd - CHEAP!). I cut two 19"x19" squares (that is the size of my pillow inserts) and four 19"x12" rectangles (these will be used for the backside of your pillow cover).

These are two of the four 19"x13" pieces. 
I then downloaded the "wheat" stencil pdf at V and Co. found here and traced it onto my freezer paper (you will need long, skinny strips of freezer paper for your "stems" - those are really easy to free hand). Not sure if it's necessary to mention or not, but you could use whatever design you wanted. I still want to find a really pretty floral pattern and try it on my other two pillows.

After tracing all the "wheat leaves" I thought I would need, I then cut them out and ironed them onto my 19"x19" piece of muslin SHINY SIDE DOWN (trust me, if you miss this step, it will stick to the bottom of your iron - not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything...).

After you have ironed your wheat onto the large piece of muslin, then it is time to bust out the spray paint. I ended up using Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch in Warm Yellow and Valspar in Petrol Blue (although I had a Krylon brown pictured above - I changed my mind. Also, as a side note, I was much more pleased with how the Rust-Oleum turned out on the fabric. The Valspar is a little sticky and more stiff. Not sure if that's because I used more paint, or just the nature of the brand). Spray very light coats onto your fabric until it is nearly covered. Mine ended up still having a big of white show through, but I chose to leave it. I thought it gave it a more interesting look, and it is harder to notice when it is right up against a pillow.

Yes, that is carpet you see in that picture. Please ignore the fact that I spray painted inside in my little one bedroom apartment. I am VERY impatient and it was super windy yesterday so inside it was. I did have both doors open (both on the east and west end) so it created a nice draft for ventilation :). 
Once that has fully dried (I waited over night for the yellow one to dry, and about 2 hours for the turquoise one), then peel the wheat off of the piece of muslin.

Once you have done this, it is now time to get sewing. I created what is called an "envelope" slip cover. You can find a tutorial for that here

Once your pillows are sewn, turn them right side out, insert your pillow inserts, and enjoy. An easy, cheap, and cute way to update your throw pillows to match any decor change you wish to make. 

A few things to be mindful about when making your pillow covers. First, make sure there is no "overhang" when you're putting your leaves on the stems. This becomes very apparent when you pull the wheat off the muslin like shown below.

Also, I used green throw pillows with brown polka dots for my pillow inserts for the turquoise pillow. I realized as I was constructing these pillows that you would be able to see the insert through the white muslin on the back, so I spray painted the 19"x12" pieces as well. I would not recommend this. While it wasn't terrible, it's much easier when one side is spray paint-less fabric so it's not so stiff and easier to work with. I would just buy a different color fabric for the back, or use a white insert (although it won't be as cheap that way if you don't have one laying around). Also, for the first pillow, I used two 19"x11" pieces of fabric instead of 19"x12" for the back. You can't really tell in the picture, but the pillow is popping through on the one with the white back. That's when I changed the measurements so I wouldn't have that problem with the other one.

All in all though, it was a GREAT project and I am really really happy with the results. 

I am on vacation all week long, so I'm hoping to keep posting projects as they get finished. Until the next time, happy Monday!

I'm linking up to these great parties

The DIY Show Off
Sumo Sweet Stuff
All Thingz Related

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pretty in Plum

So here it is. The long awaited post with some of my first DIY projects. As I previously mentioned, I have only been in my new apartment for a little over a month now, and two weeks of that month was spent in my parents' camper during the Fair. Needless to say, I feel like I am just now beginning to get a handle on some of my projects. I have FINALLY had some time to start working on my rooms, and my bathroom just came together last night. I'm still not sure if it's completely done, but then again, what room ever is? I am pretty happy with it for the time being. I will say that the canvas hanging up is not at all what I had originally planned. My paint was not cooperating with me, it was windy outside, etc. Basically, the canvases ended up being a "mistake that turned out ok" project.

The paint color on the walls is an "oops" gray paint I found at Lowe's for $5/gallon. Holla!! The square I painted on my wall looked MUCH lighter then when I painted an entire wall, but after I finished and put it all together, I really like the results. Especially for $2.50 (I only used half the gallon).

This is an upclose of the canvases that I painted. It cost me $7 for a pack of 2 at Hobby Lobby, and the acrylic paint cost me $2 per bottle (I used 3) at Michael's. I ended up thinning out the paint a lot with water before I started painting the "circles" (that's what they were originally supposed to be - they ended up being random swirls though) because the paint was super thick and not coming out as well as I needed it to. This caused splatters to start forming, so I went with it and just splattered the heck out of both pieces. I actually kind of like the look it gives it.

I have never been one to leave any extra toilet paper out in plain sight (I am an organizational FREAK and it drives me bonkers), but now that I live by myself, I have no one to yell at for another roll of toilet paper should I forget to bring one in with me. Talk about inconvienient. So I found this cute little basket at Salvation Army for $.99 and I knew it would be perfect for 2 rolls of toilet paper. It was a darker brown color, so I primed and painted it with Krylon Semi-Gloss White and there you have it. A cute little solution to my occasional would-be toilet paper issues.

Another issue I had was counter top organization. Again, I like things to be accessible but pretty and before this little basket thing, it just looked like a big mass of my "daily need items" in the corner of the counter. I bought this little metal container at Goodwill for $1.99, and spray painted it white. It is perfect for my q-tips, cotton balls, and perfumes that I typically leave out on the counter. I don't know why, but I love it so much more when they are all in the same container - even if it is totally see-through.

So there you have it. My "rental" bathroom transformation. If this was my own bathroom (meaning I owned it and was not renting it) then I would've painted the vanity as well and framed the mirror so it wasn't so "builder grade" quality in there. But alas, I am just a renter. I feel like it's a pretty great tranformation for a little one bedroom apartment though, and can't wait to get started on my other rooms. Completing this room was just what I needed for some SERIOUS motivation to get moving on the other rooms. I am on a stay-cation all next week, so stay tuned for a lot more projects. Here is a little sneak peak at one that I will be working on next.

Have I mentioned that I loooooooove turquoise? No? Well I do. A whole lot. I'm pretty sure that will be painfully evident after I show you some other transformations. Stay tuned. Until then, happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In desperate need of some inspiration

I will start off with aplogozing....again. There are a million and three excuses I could give you as to why I have STILL not posted any of my projects on here, but I will simply offer this one. I am what you could call a design basket case right now. I have a million and three projects going on in my head. I am obsessed with finding new projects that will make my apartment look a-freakin-mazing, all the while not finishing ONE single project I have in the "works". I'm hoping that is going to change tonight, though. I found a can of pretty amazing "oops" paint at Lowe's last night, and I have my bathroom taped and ready for paint. I PROMISE I will post pictures when I feel like it as soon as I finish.

However, this post is more than just an "I'm so sorry for being a sucky blogger". This post is an post. Not the kind of help that comes from counseling (although some days I seriously think that wouldn't hurt). I need design suggestions. I got this bedding for my birthday.  I fell in love with it when I first saw it. It's great for a girl like me. And by a girl like me, I mean a single (not single as in no boy in my life single - don't worry honey, you're not that lucky - single as in "I live all by myself and can decorate my bedroom as girly as I want" single). Here's where the problem comes in. I am having a heck of a time trying to decide on a paint color. That's right folks. I can paint my apartment. Any color I want. With no prior approval. Can you just imagine the happy dance that took place inside my head when they told me that? It was awesome. And not only CAN I paint, but I NEED to paint. Have you ever been in a place that was painted with the cheapest paint possible? No? Well I have. What happens when it's painted with really cheap, crappy paint you ask? Every single thing that touches it leaves marks. I kid you not. It's RIDICULOUS. I have pink marks all the way down my stairwell right now because of my sister's laundry hamper. I have silver marks on my bedroom wall from my watch rubbing up against it. Not good. So now that the Fair is over and I got extra days hours of sleep this weekend, it is time for me to start painting.

Now is where I need your help. I think know that if I find a paint color for my bedroom, the rest of the decor will be easy peasy. It's just picking that paint color that is sooooo hard for me right now. So I need opinions. Keep in mind that my bedroom is not huge. I have a sliding patio door that goes out onto my balcony, but that is it for natural light. And if I don't paint it a nuetral color, I will have to paint it back before I move out. This isn't a huge deal, but if I can get by without having to paint a place twice, then that would be super. All of my furniture is black, and I'm trying to stay away from a taupe color (or at least the "cookie cutter" taupe that every one has on their walls). So here is a link to my bedding (I apologize again - I'm at work {don't tell} and don't have access to a camera or my bedding at this moment to take a picture, and the picture I tried to steal borrow from the Website is really crummy quality). If you would so kindly look at my bedding and then leave me a comment with your suggestions, I would be forever grateful. I will let you know when I finally make a decision. I am on vacation (woohooo) in a week and a half and plan to do some serious painting and decorating then and I PROMISE I will fill you in on the progress as I go. So here it is. Comments are appreciated. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Excuses, excuses, excuses...

I titled this blog "Excuses, excuses, excuses" because that's EXACTLY what I am about to give you for not updating it once since I have created this little masterpiece. It's not that I've forgotten about it. In fact, I log in daily to get updates from all of the other blogs that I am following. It's not even that I haven't gotten any DIY projects done yet. I've gotten a few and extremely awesome projects done. The reason I haven't blogged ONCE since I created this electronic outlet for all of my thoughts, projects, and other ramblings? I.have.been.swamped. Story of everyone's life, right? Yeah, I know. But really, I've been so busy that even blogging is a challenge for me. You see, I made the decision earlier this year to finally get a big girl place. I have been avoiding living by myself for awhile now, even though I am very much a "live by myself and LOVE it" girl. The main reason? It is going to cost me $300 extra dollars a month just to LIVE. Crazy right? Yeah, I thought so too. I mean, think of the thrifting saving that could be done with that extra $300 a month. Agh! I get a little anxious even thinking about it. But then I go home. To my big girl place. And no one has left any unwashed dishes in the sink. And no one has left crumbs from making toast all over my the counter. And no one has left rotting food in the refridgerator because that's the laziest easiest place to keep it. And no one is in the middle of doing laundry when I am down to my last pair of underwear. And I get to decorate and paint (YAY!) the place to my taste. So moral of the story, I have been living by myself now for a little less than a month and Minus the extra $300 a month part.

Because my apartment and utilites are going to cost me an extra $300 a month, I have a pretty tight budget. Good thing I am becoming an expert at thrifting and DIY'ing huh? So that leads me to the 2nd reason that I haven't been keeping up on blogging. I currently do not have internet. (GASP)! I know, I know. How do I do it? I would be lying if I said it wasn't painfully difficult slightly challenging. Now, I have internet at work which I'm currently using to write this post (hey, I'm taking a lunch/blogging break, ok?). But I work for the Iowa State Fair. And the Iowa State Fair starts in 2 days (eek!). So I've been swamped at work. I wouldn't exactly be the model employee I try to be if I used precious work time to blog about my love of DIY'ing, now would I? No, didn't think so (shoot). So internet time has been sparce. Actually, it's been non-existent outside of work. I will probably work with my budget a little more after the Fair ends and figure out a way to work it in. Because if I'm not going to have cable (which the boy is NOT happy about), then I at least need to have internet. I can only talk to myself for so long before I start to get bored.

The last reason I am gong to give you for not keeping up on this little blog of mine is that I work for the Iowa State Fair. I know I've already mentioned this, but I will reiterate it because for the last 2 weeks, all I've done is eat, sleep, and breathe the Fair. Starting tomorrow I will work 12+ hour days (it always ends up being more like 15 but hey, who's counting?) and so my reality disappears and the Fair is my life. I love the Fair though and love being a part of making it such a huge success (one of the best fairs in the USofA), so I don't mind putting my life on hold to be a part of it.

So there you go. My excuses as to why I haven't posted any of my finished projects yet. I promise once my life returns to normal, and I break down and take on another monthly bill, I will get some up. I'm pretty excited to show you what I've been busy doing (besides the above mentioned items). Stay tuned. Oh yeah, and come see me at the Fair. August 12-22. Non-Stop Fun!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"You're not going to start blogging about it too, are you?"

...That's the question my ever so understanding sister asked me when I told her that I have a newfound obsession interest in revamping old furniture and DIY projects. And the answer to that question would be, "Why yes, I think I am". Hi, my name is Jenna, and I am a self proclaimed thrift store junkie. That's right folks. I am, by definition, addicted to finding the latest "treasure" (as my oh so adorable - and occasionally witty - bf calls them). But little does his mocking self know that they will soon become treasures. He's going to wish he would've taken me seriously when I start my own business and retire by the age of 35. Ok, that may be a bit of a lofty goal, but hey - I love to dream.

I also love beautiful things. Like, really, really, really love them. All beautiful things. And I love to design beautiful things. Graphic design. Crafty design. Anything that I can beautify, I love to make it happen. So imagine my joy when I started reading blogs - hundreds of blogs - about women, much like myself, who go to thrift stores, buy really cheap, really ugly unique pieces of furniture and accessories, add some spray paint and other details and make those items look like they walked out of the latest Pottery Barn magazine. I am even more ecstatic because not only do these "treasures" become marvelous pieces of awesomeness, but they are also C-H-E-A-P. And let's face it. I just graduated from college 2 years ago. And I work for the State. And my school cost a lot (which means big student loan payments). And the transmission in my car is slipping. So although I love to decorate and have beautiful things, my checkbook refuses to let me spend more than a few dollars on a piece of awesomeness unless I want to give up food for the month (which I have seriously debated - I kid you not - I LOVE to decorate). For the past month, I have done nothing but learn every Goodwill and Salvation Army location in the Des Moines metro area and visit them very frequently. I have found numerous "beauties" that I plan on giving a facelift, and so I am here to tell you about it.

But don't get too excited yet. The only piece of actual furniture I have bought so far was an end table. You see, here's the other little piece to the ridiculous awesome puzzle. I am currenlty homeless. Before you get all sympathetic for me and start offering up donations, know that I will aquire a new abode in a week and a half (I think - I'm learning to be flexible and live spontaneously - so far all I've gained  is one giant headache and a storage unit for my massive amounts of stuff). I am in the process of moving out of a 3 bedroom apartment which I shared with 2 other people to a 1 bedroom which gets to be decorated however I want. Can I get a "Whoop Whoop!!"? So while in transition, I don't think it's entirely fair to accumulate a bunch of "treasures" and then have no where to store them (or take them and fill my parents already cluttered house). But I'm keeping my eyes peeled. My trunk in my car currently looks like I robbed a garage sale, and I have started little projets that don't require a truck for hauling. I'll post some pictures as soon as I find my camera which I packed away somewhere (chances are it's at my parents' house about 60 miles south of where I am currently residing - convenient huh?).

Stay tuned for some awesome projects coming your way. Let me know if you're into craftiness as well, and if so, I would love to see what you're working on. You know that feeling that Babe Ruth must've gotten when he knocked yet another one out of the park? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the same feeling I get every time I see something totally awesome that I know I can create myself for a few dollars.